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Pentecostal Leaders Pray God Will Knock Clinton’s Chariot Wheels Off To Help ‘Anointed’ Trump

Charisma magazine and its affiliated online Charisma News are part of Steve Strang’s publishing empire, aimed at Pentecostal Christians who see American politics enveloped in constant spiritual warfare between believers and demons. (See, for example, senior editor Jennifer Claire’s “Is Hillary Clinton the Antichrist or an Illuminati Witch?”) Charisma has endorsed Trump and has energetically promoted his candidacy, playing a major role in the  Religious Right push to convince conservative Christians that Trump’s candidacy has a divine anointing.

On Sunday evening, Charisma posted an article calling for “urgent prayer” for Donald Trump for Monday night’s debate. The article said that former Trump adviser Frank Amedia had received a revelation from God and “began making phone calls to drum up support for the Kingdom Wide Prayer Watch.” Among those who got involved were Cindy Jacobs, Rick Joyner, Mario Bramnick, Lance Wallnau and Paula White.

Trump is on the focus of the October issue of Charisma magazine, whose cover story is Lance Wallnau’s tale about how God told him that He is raising up Donald Trump like the biblical King Cyrus. This week Strang posted a two-part podcast interviewing Wallnau about Trump’s “anointing” as a “prophetic” instrument of God’s purposes.

Wallnau said people should pray that God will intervene, perhaps during one of the debates, to unveil a Clinton medical problem or otherwise derail her candidacy:

God is really involved with what’s happening right now. And I think if there was ever a time when the chariot wheels of Pharaoh come off, I think now, we ought to be praying that God speeds his path for His purposes because America cannot afford another 48 months of the destructive spiral that it’s in right now.

Of course, most people would hardly describe Trump’s debate performance as an answer to prayer.

Which brings us to the extent to which Charisma is promoting far-right conspiracy theories. This week Bob Eschliman wrote that Clinton’s much celebrated shimmy after Trump said he had a better temperament to be president was in fact evidence of “medical episode”—Eschliman laughably mischaracterized Clinton’s mocking “whew, OK” as a “Howard Dean yell” and described her shimmy as troubling a “shudder” and “tremors.”

Eschliman is also flacking right-wing conspiracy theories that Clinton “cheated” during the early national security forum and Monday night’s debate by wearing a hidden ear piece that she could have used to get instructions from her campaign team. Eschliman said it could have been a hearing aid, a receiver, or an “anti-seizure device,” adding, “None of these paint a particularly good picture for the Democratic presidential nominee. Either she has an as-yet undisclosed health condition, ranging from mild to severe, or she's been cheating during the televised debates.”

In his podcast interview with Wallnau, Strang said he was worried that there isn’t enough “clear solidarity” from preachers and prophets to get enough believers to the polls. Wallnau blamed that possibility on “the left” and some Christian leaders who are trying to mute enthusiasm for Trump by portraying him as a flawed candidate, “morally or whatever.” Wallnau insisted that isn’t true, saying that Trump “has been on a metamorphosis…a total transformation track.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert: Democrats Rely On Votes Of 'Them Who Have No Regard For The Law,' 'People That Can’t Speak English'

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins interviewed Rep. Louie Gohmert yesterday about reports, which turned out to be erroneous, that the man who shot five people in a Washington state mall last weekend had voted three times despite not being a citizen. Gohmert was positively jubilant about the false report, saying that it was “the perfect evidence” to contradict “liberal judges” who say that there is no widespread voting by noncitizens.

Gohmert, a Texas Republican, then linked the story to efforts to pass criminal justice reform legislation, claiming that Democrats are relying on the votes of “felons,” “people that can't speak English”—who he claimed are unable to follow the news—and undocumented immigrants in order to win elections.

“But, you know, what does it say about your party if you want felons to vote and you want people who don’t speak English to vote and you want people that are here illegally to vote?” he asked. “If your platform will only get voted into office by those people—felons, people that can’t speak English and haven’t been able to follow personally what’s actually going on in politics without getting an interpretation, and those who are illegally here, show no regard for the law—I would think you’d need to think about changing your platform.”

The congressman added that the Washington shooter “seems to be a big fan of Hillary Clinton,” which shows who “the Democrat drones” are.

Perkins responded that the Obama administration is “trying to basically flood the zone” with “Syrian refugees and others” in order to help Democrats.

“Exactly,” Gohmert replied. “And they know which party will be most helpful to them who have no regard for the law.”

People who have served time for felonies are in fact allowed to vote in many states, thanks to bipartisan efforts to restore their voting rights. While most naturalized citizens are required to pass an English test, in many cases election materials are translated for those with less English proficiency. However, Democrats are not allowing undocumented immigrants to vote without obtaining citizenship, as Gohmert asserts.

Religious Right Activist Convicted In Ex-Gay International Kidnapping Saga

Back in 2009, we started covering the story of Lisa Miller, a self-declared former lesbian who had become a hero to the Religious Right for defying legal orders to allow her former partner, Janet Jenkins, to see their daughter. After the couple had separated, Miller had moved from Vermont to Virginia, where she joined Jerry Falwell's church, renounced her homosexuality and then refused to allow Jenkins to see the daughter they had had together. During the legal battle, Miller was represented by Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and lawyers affiliated with Liberty University, both of which are connected to Falwell's church.

Eventually, due to her intransigence and refusal to follow visitation orders, a judge in Vermont ordered Miller to transfer custody to Jenkins, but Miller refused and disappeared with her daughter.

Anti-gay activists heaped praise upon Miller for defying the court order and absconding with her daughter, while Liberty Counsel immediately went silent and began to try and wash its hands of the case,insisting that it had no idea where Miller had gone and that it had nothing to do with her disappearance.

Eventually, it was discovered that Miller had fled the country and, according to an FBI affidavit, wound up at a home in Nicaragua owned by Philip Zodhiates, a Religious Right activist whose daughter just so happened to be an administrative assistant at Liberty University Law School, where Miller's Liberty Counsel attorneys, Mat Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen, both worked. Even more amazingly, Miller's attorneys reportedly just so happened to be teaching law students at Liberty University that Christian lawyers handling a case like Miller's have a religious duty to counsel their client that they have an obligation to ignore the law and engage in "civil disobedience" in order to uphold God's law.

In 2012, Liberty Law School was hit with a RICO lawsuit by Jenkins for allegedly playing a role in Miller's kidnapping of their daughter, while Zodhiates was charged with conspiracy and international parental kidnapping in federal court. 

Zodhiates' case concluded yesterday with a guilty verdict:

A Waynesboro businessman has been found guilty of international parental kidnapping after getting involved in a Vermont same-sex couple's child custody fight.

A federal jury in Buffalo returned the verdict against Philip Zodhiates (zoh-dee-YAH'-taze) on Thursday following a trial that began last week. Zodhiates was also found guilty of conspiracy.

He faces up to eight years in prison.

The verdict, which followed a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, is the latest development in a case that has captured the nation’s interest and cast a spotlight on issues such as same sex marriage and parental rights.

Prosecutors say the Waynesboro, Virginia, resident helped a woman - Lisa A. Miller - and her 7-year-old daughter leave the country in 2009 when it was clear the woman — who had renounced her homosexuality — was losing a custody battle to her former partner.

Prosecutors say that Zodhiates drove Lisa Miller and the child from Virginia to the Rainbow Bridge, in western New York, where they crossed into Canada on their way to Nicaragua.

Prosecutors say the kidnapping was Miller’s attempt at keeping Isabella away from Janet Jenkins, her former partner, and what Miller now calls “the homosexual lifestyle.

True The Vote's Latest Fail: Discovering That A Citizen Voted

True the Vote, the Texas-based Tea Party group that is on a mission to uncover widespread voter fraud in order to promote suppressive voting measures, thought it had a winning story earlier this week when it announced that it had discovered that Arcan Cetin, the man accused of shooting five people at a mall in Washington state last weekend, had illegally voted as a noncitizen in three elections.

The story was quickly picked up by conservative media hoping to fan the flames of the story that noncitizens—and even murderous noncitizens—are out in great numbers stealing our elections.

The only problem was that Cetin is in fact a naturalized U.S. citizen and therefore was legally eligible to vote.

Seattle’s King 5 yesterday updated a story in which it had questioned Cetin’s citizenship, confirming that he was indeed a citizen when he voted:

UPDATE: KING 5 learned Thursday that Arcan Cetin, the 20-year-old who killed five people at Cascade Mall on Sept. 23, is in fact a U.S. citizen.

For days after the shooting, Cetin was described by local and federal law enforcement as being a permanent U.S. resident. He immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey when he was a child, after his mother married an American citizen.

On Thursday, a federal official told KING that further investigation revealed that Cetin is a naturalized U.S. citizen. That means he was legally registered to vote.

KING's initial story on Sept. 28 questioned state officials about how Cetin could register and vote without being a citizen.

Flip Benham Blames Unrest In Charlotte Following Police Shooting on Passage of LGBT Rights Bill

Radical right-wing activist Flip Benham showed up at another Charlotte, North Carolina, city council meeting this week, this time to blame the unrest in the city that followed the recent shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by police on the passage of a measure aimed at protecting LGBT rights earlier this year.

After reading a passage from Isaiah 1, Benham thundered that "the Lord Almighty has spoken to you on July 25th these very words, that if you continue this rebellion against Almighty God, blood is going to course down the corridors of our schools, our workplaces and our streets!"

"You need to turn back to Him," Benham bellowed. "It is you who unleashed hell in our city when you tried to say that boy and girls are not the different. You did it! Now repent [Charlotte mayor] Jennifer Roberts, in the name of Jesus Christ!"

The Trump Campaign's Latest Tactic Is Straight From The Conservative Echo Chamber

NBC News is reporting that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, in an effort to regain momentum following the candidate’s poor performance in Monday night’s debate, has begun distributing talking points to surrogates encouraging them to talk about ‘90s era sex scandals.

Putting aside Donald Trump’s own philandering history, these new attacks demonstrate the GOP’s inability to pull themselves out of the right-wing echo chamber and have a broader conversation with voters.

In 2012, Mitt Romney fell victim to conservative insistence that the polls were skewed and that he was therefore all but certain to win the presidency. This belief was ultimately contradicted by voters, who it turned out did not need to be unskewed.  Now, Trump and his allies in the conservative media are doing something similar, pretending that unscientific online polls are the real authoritative sources on public opinion.

Trump’s campaign was born in the far-right media. His ascent to the top of the Republican Party was driven by birtherism and seeded in the deepest, dankest of fever swamps. Then in 2014, while he was preparing to run for president, it has been widely reported that Trump received daily memos outlining the issues and views raised by callers to conservative radio shows. Thus, harsh and often racist anti-immigrant rhetoric became a central tenet of his campaign.

From Rush Limbaugh to Ann Coulter to Michael Savage, many of the leading conservatives now supporting the Trump campaign built their careers on the impeachment of Bill Clinton and spent years attempting to use sex to toxify the president’s public image.

What seems to be forgotten by many in the media and the conservative movement is what a miserable failure their efforts were. Clinton was reelected in 1996 and Democrats gained seats in Congress that year and again in 1998. Republicans lost two House speakers, Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston, and completely extinguished the flame of their 1994 “revolution” in pursuit of prurient details that would take down the president. And the cumulative effect of this entire period was the elevation of Bill Clinton’s approval ratings.

Despite this failure, two decades later conservatives are once against returning to this same old playbook, but with a new twist. Now they would like to blame Hillary Clinton for the alleged foibles of her husband and use them to convince the American people that she is not suited to hold public office.

Along with the obvious strategic shortcomings of this plan, there is an even more obvious dose of sexism behind these latest attacks—blaming a wife for the actions of her husband. Yet the Trump campaign presses forward, beginning the week with the too-cute-by-half notion that their candidate was courageous for not raising these issues during the debate.

The right-wing echo chamber has been demanding for months that these issues be discussed and Trump is happy to once again oblige, now through his surrogates in the media.

While the symbiotic relationship between Trump and the right-wing media is perhaps greater than with any other Republican candidate in history, it is not wholly unique. That’s why it’s no surprise that in the seven presidential elections since Rush Limbaugh’s radio program was syndicated nationally, the Republican candidate has only been able to win a plurality of the popular vote twice.

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/29/16

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/29/16

  • Busted! "A comprehensive video has surfaced that rather convincingly shows Hillary Clinton using hand signals like a third base baseball coach to prompt moderator Lester Holt to quickly call on her to counter comments by opponent Donald Trump during Monday’s first Presidential Debate."
  • Jerry Boykin says that Clinton cannot be elected president because she "will complete the Obama agenda of the complete destruction of America's armed forces by continuing and even accelerating the pace of the destructive policies of President Barack Obama. Consequently, my grandchildren will have a dubious future and America's enemies will grow in strength and boldness while Mrs. Clinton panders to her socialist allies who would love nothing more than to see this nation become a third-rate military power."
  • William Gheen says that "the chances are there that Donald Trump could be in a landslide win situation with American voters, yet still have the election stolen from him by the legal and illegal immigrant voter registration drives currently in progress."
  • FRC prays for the end of the Johnson Amendment: "May God’s pastors preach like never before this Sunday! May His people press their elected representatives to end this unconstitutional muzzle on our pulpits – a muzzle that leads to more evil. May God’s pastors be loosed to exercise their responsibilities to God, their duties to His people, and their rights under the U.S. Constitution – to speak the whole truth regarding the qualifications of those who wish to be our civil leaders."
  • Finally, dozens of Religious Right activists have signed a letter warning that progressive Christian groups are little more than front groups for George Soros: "They use the Marxist-Alinsky tactic of funding 'ministers' who cherry-pick faith language to confuse and divide the Church’s morality, mission and vote."

Religious Right Backs Bill to Implement Trump’s Pledge to Make Churches More Politically Powerful

Donald Trump has repeatedly pledged to make conservative Christians more politically powerful by eliminating legal restrictions on churches’ and other tax-exempt nonprofits’ ability to do electoral work. On Wednesday two Republican congressmen, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Georgia’s Jody Hice, introduced H.R. 6195, what they call the “Free Speech Fairness Act,” which would lay the groundwork for a President Trump to do just that.

Scalise and Hice were joined at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Christiana Holcomb, and anti-gay activist and pastor Harry Jackson. According to a handout, the bill or the policies represented in it are also supported by Focus on the Family, the Heritage Foundation, the Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability, March for Life Action, Liberty Counsel and Liberty Counsel Action, the American Center for Law and Justice, and the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Trump has said he decided to call for repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which dates to 1954, when he heard from pastors that it restricted their ability to help him get elected. He has made it clear that he sees its repeal as a way to build Christian conservatives’ political muscle. So it was a bit unconvincing to have Scalise and Hice portray their legislation not as a vehicle for turning churches into more effective political machines, but merely an effort to protect the trampled-upon free speech rights of pastors and nonprofits.

Scalise and Hice say their bill would allow churches and nonprofits to make political statements if those statements are in the ordinary course of their regular work and any expenses related to them are de minimis. In their example, a preacher could endorse a candidate as part of a sermon, and a church could do the same in its normal newsletter. Under their rules, they say, the church couldn’t launch a new political direct mail campaign that is outside the normal scope of its work. But given the massive communications networks that many megachurches and nonprofit religious broadcasters have, this seems like more of a fig leaf than an actual limitation.

Before coming to Congress, Hice was a pastor in Georgia. He said he was one of 33 pastors who challenged the Johnson Amendment back in 2008 with the help of ADF, a challenge that grew into “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual project that encourages pastors to violate legal restrictions by endorsing candidates from the pulpit and daring the IRS to come after them. Not coincidentally, this year’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday is this weekend, October 2.

Speakers at this week’s press conference portrayed the Johnson Amendment as a dire restriction on free speech and religious liberty. ADF’s Holcomb said it has had “devastating impacts on religious freedom and the freedom of speech.” Hice said it is “unconscionable that our government would force individuals to choose between their constitutionally protected rights or their faith.”

Perkins quoted Martin Luther King Jr. at the press conference, and his commentary on the new bill at the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal features a large photograph of King. []Jackson also cited the civil rights movement. But the example of King actually undermines their hyperbolic claims about Johnson Amendment, which was in effect in the late 1950s and 1960s when African American pastors and churches served as moral and logistical focal points for the civil rights movement. They were not “muzzled” any more than conservative megachurches have been “muzzled” in speaking out about abortion for the past 40 years or rallying their members to vote against equality for LGBT people.

Under the existing IRS rules, the Family Research Council has no problem communicating on the issues of the day with the 11,000 pastors in its network. Indeed, there are currently multiple voter registration and GOTV operations being carried out by Religious Right networks through conservative evangelical churches. Trump and other Republican presidential candidates have appeared before gatherings of pastors brought together by Christian nationalist David Lane, who has recruited hundreds of pastors to run for office.

Their First Amendment freedoms are quite intact. But they’re looking for more—the ability of churches, religious broadcasters and other nonprofits to engage in direct electoral advocacy with tax-exempt funds. Speakers at Religious Right conferences routinely blame what they see as America’s moral decline on timid preaching, and they blame that on pastors who are intimidated by the IRS or hide behind the supposed threat of the IRS to avoid taking strong political stands. Charisma’s Bob Eschliman even said in praising the new bill that the Third Great Awakening—a national spiritual revival longed for by Religious Right leaders—cannot come about until the nation’s pulpits are “unshackled from the Johnson Amendment.”

Perkins, who is honorary chairman for Pulpit Freedom Sunday, bragged about the fact that he worked with the Trump campaign to get language calling for repeal of the Johnson Amendment into the Republican Party platform. He praised Trump for making it a campaign issue, adding, “I hope the next time that I’m talking about this could possibly be as he’s signing it behind his desk as president.”

Jonathan Cahn Knows We're In The End Times Because 'We're Seeing Things That Even Sodom And Gomorrah Didn't See'

When End Times Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn appeared on Glenn Beck's radio program last year, it was to warn that America was going to suffer a massive calamity—possibly an economic meltdown, possibly a terrorist attack, possibly a natural disaster—on September 13, 2015.

Obviously, that didn't happen, but that hasn't rattled Beck's faith in Cahn's prophetic gifts, so he brought him back on his radio program today to promote his latest book, "The Book of Mysteries," and to warn that the world is now living in the End Times.

In the last days, Cahn said, the Bible warns that "before the end comes, there will be a great falling away from the faith, now we see that ... It's a civilization falling away from the ways of God. Well, we're watching it, we're talking about it."

"In the same days when you see culture falling away from the ways of God," he said, "you're going to see ... man departing from the state of manhood, women departing from womanhood, marriage departing from the state marriage, family from the state of family, all of these things we are watching. You want to know the reason why we're hearing all these things, why the news, the blending of gender, all of these things? It goes right to the word that was hidden 2,000 years ago."

When Beck pointed out that just about every generation of Christians throughout history has been convinced that it was living in the End Times, Cahn insisted that this time is different because "we've never seen a falling away to this degree. I mean, we're seeing things that even Sodom and Gomorrah didn't see. So we're seeing things that are unprecedented."